The dive, known to engineers as ‘the Trim and Inclining Experiment’, proves the boat’s safety and stability in the water and measures the submarine’s performance at a depth of 16 metres. The maiden dive took place over two days and involved more than 70 people including BAE Systems’ engineers, Ministry of Defence personnel and Royal Navy Ship’s Staff.
Commander Peter Green, Commanding Officer of Ambush, stated: “This is a major milestone for Ambush and shows she is firmly on track to exit Barrow early next year in order to commence her sea trials. Nuclear submarines are some of the most complex machines on earth and therefore to see everything come together in order to dive the boat for the first time is very satisfying. It has been a superb team effort between BAE Systems Submarine Solutions, the Ministry of Defence Submarine Project Team and Ambush Ship’s Company”
The ‘‘Trim and Inclining Experiment’ proves the safety and stability of the submarine and sets the standards of operation for Ambush’s performance. Meticulous measurements are taken at every stage of the dive. These include ‘trim draught’ - gauging how far the boat sits underwater to achieve the correct balance, assessment of the boat’s centre of gravity and the stability of the boat intact and in the event of damage.
The experiment takes place in a dedicated deep area of the dock at Barrow-in-Furness known as the ‘basin’ or ‘dive hole’. A set sequence of preparations is made, including diving the submarine on its main ballast tanks, fine tuning the submarine using her trim and compensation tanks, ‘heeling’ or inclining the submarine and surfacing the boat recording draughts.
Prior to Ambush’s sea trials in 2012 a final major commissioning activity, known as Power Range Testing, will take place towards the end of this year. In this test the full propulsion system is put through its paces for the first time.
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